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January 20, 1989 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-01-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Jerusalem area, has appealed
to Diaspora Jews over the
ages. Among other reasons,
this is because Jewish tradi-
tion holds that they will be
resurrected before anyone
else when the Messiah comes.
The Eretz Hahayim
cemetery also appeals to
overseas Jews by virtue of its
beautiful location and
because funeral ar-
rangements are handled with
far greater decorum there
than at most other Israeli
cemeteries.
Indeed, special efforts are
made to fulfill the requests of
bereaved families, though on-
ly if they are compatible with
Orthodox practices, or, more
specifically, with the stricter
Jerusalem version thereof.
On occasion, however, the
Eretz Hahayim directors may
seek modification of such
practices. For example,
Jerusalem tradition has it
that the children and grand-
children of a deceased man
may not follow behind his
shrouded body as it is taken
to the grave — a practice of
Kabbalistic origin not com-
mon even among the ultra-
Orthodox in the U.S.
But, after being contacted
by the cemetery's directors, a
leading Jerusalem rabbi
declared that there was
nothing to prevent the
children and grandchildren
from going to the cemetery
ahead of the funeral proces-
sion and then standing at a
reasonable distance from the
grave during the service.
Afterwards, they could ap-
proach the grave itself and
pay their respects.
Despite its relative flexibili-
ty, a cemetery like Eretz
Hahayim does not meet the
needs of people here who re-
ject the strictures of Or-
thodoxy in one degree or
another.
Some of them, for example,
want to bury their loved ones
not in shrouds, but in coffins,
the use of which is forbidden
at existing Israeli cemeteries,
except for military funerals.
Others want to have a non-
standard funeral service,
perhaps conducted by a
Reform or Conservative rabbi
(who, as things stand, cannot
officiate at either funerals or
marriages). -
There may soon be an alter-
native for such people, thanks
to the efforts of the Menucha
Nechona (True Tranquility)
burial society, established
just over two years ago by a
group of Jerusalem families
(later joined by represen-
tatives of Secular Humanistic
Judaism and Reform
Judaism). .
Members of the Menucha
Nechona board asked for a

license from the Orthodox-
controlled Ministry for
Religious Affairs, which tried
its best to discourage them.
But when they petitioned the
Supreme Court for redress,
the Ministry gave in just
before the case was to be
heard and has even promised
to help the new burial socie-
ty create its own cemetery.
At' that cemetery, which
will probably be located not
far from the Eretz Hahayim
one, families will be able to
choose any kind of religious
service they want — or none
at all.
Moreover, the new cemetery
will differ from all others
because it will allow partners
in a mixed marriage to be
buried next to one another.
The Menucha Nechona
cemetery is being created, of
course, to meet the needs of
Israelis. But perhpas, like
neighboring Eretz Hahayim,
it will also serve to further in-
crease posthumous aliya.

Eleven Wounded
In Gaza Clash

Jerusalem (JTA) — At least
11 Palestinians and as many
as 17 were wounded in a clash
with Israeli security forces in
the Shati refugee camp near
Gaza last week.
There were also violent in-
cidents in East Jerusalem.
One Egged bus was stoned on
the main thoroughfare and
another on Nablus Road, the
border between east and west
Jerusalem.
Windshields were smashed
but no one was hurt.
The Israel Defense Force
report of 11 casualties at the
Shati camp was disputed by
Arab sources, who claimed 17
were wounded, after they
were reportedly hit by live
ammunition and plastic
bullets.
According to the IDF, the
soldiers opened fire to protect
themselves from a mob hurl-
ing stones, bricks and metal
objects. A curfew was clamped
on the Shati camp.
It was the second' con-
secutive day of violence in the
Gaza Strip.

Children Afraid
To Show Fear

Aviv (JTA) — The Palest-
inian uprising is taking a
psychological toll among the
children of Jewish settlers in
the West Bank and Gaza
Strip.
The problem seems to be
that the children are
frightened but are afraid to
show fear because of parental
disapproval, Davar reported.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

45

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